Ho-Sang in doghouse with Islanders
By DJ Brooks / Sports
September 18, 2015
ST. CATHARINES - Josh Ho-Sang seems to always find himself dealing with controversy.
The 19-year-old offensive superstar of the Niagara IceDogs was hoping to crack the roster of the NHL’s New York Islanders, or at minimum, have a long and productive training camp with them.
On Friday afternoon, that dream came crashing down as Ho-Sang was sent back to Niagara by the Islanders for showing up late on the first day of the main camp.
“Garth Snow and Eric Cairns both gave me a call and let me know he slept in this morning and was being sent home,” General Manager of the IceDogs Marty Williamson said before Friday night’s exhibition game against the Oshawa Generals.
“The bottom line is he didn’t show up on time and Josh has a track record. He has to be accountable for those kind of things. Everything else was exemplary. He did everything else well. He made a mistake and he has put himself in a position where he can’t make mistakes,” Williamson said.
Ho-Sang has been a polarizing figure since his entrance to the OHL ,from his verbal jarring with Hockey Canada as well as some negativity from his former team, the Windsor Spitfires.
While Ho-Sang has made strides and was often applauded by the IceDogs for his efforts the effects of past actions linger.
“When you make mistakes a long time ago, they kind of linger with you. I think Josh has made a lot of strides in the right direction. He has honestly worked on it. He is not perfect. He has some habits he needs to work on. He stays up too late playing video games and stuff like that. He sleeps through things and gets himself exhausted,” Williamson said when describing some of Ho-Sang’s issues.
The hardest part of the entire situation seems to be the fact that many people were hopeful that these types of actions were in Ho-Sang’s past.
“It is hard on him. When you make mistakes as a kid and say dumb things as a kid and he is still paying for it. If his record were 100 per cent clean, this incident would be washed under a little bit. It wouldn’t be as severe as it is. But that is the position we are in and we have to deal with it,” was how Williamson described the lasting effect of Ho-Sang’s past actions.
While Williamson hasn’t spoken directly to Josh at the time of the interview, he did hear from the Islanders that he is shaken by the situation.
“He is devastated. He is very upset and humbled by the whole thing. Embarrassed by it,” Williamson said. “He is a good kid. I feel for Josh. He has to learn there are consequences for these types of actions. I think in the big picture, he will be a better man for it.”
Now the next steps for Niagara, and Ho-Sang, seem simple enough.
“He is not being sent home because he can’t skate or he can’t play the game. He is great. He is being sent home for something he can control 100 per cent,” Williamson said.
The IceDogs coach stressed this is not something simply for Josh to deal with on his own.
“We need to help him with that. That is what this league is about. That is what I am about. I’ve got to help him. I want him to succeed,” Williamson said.
Of course, Williamson is focusing on Ho-Sang’s future as well.
“Our next job now is getting him playing great for us so he can make the World Junior team.”